Did you watch the Academy Awards?

I really loved the show, mostly because Colin Firth and The King’s Speech won. Yippee!!! Wasn’t Colin Firth just so witty and charming? And handsome.
What did you think of Anne Hathaway and James Franco as hosts? I thought Anne was beautiful and I loved her changes of clothing, but I’ll leave the fashion assessment to Amanda.
I also thought James Franco had the most amazing smile. It totally transforms his face. He intrigues me, because in addition to being an Academy Award nominee for Best Actor, he’s a Yale Ph.D. student, and he really does seem to put his schoolwork above everything else.
This weekend I’m thinking about movies a lot. I spent the weekend at Inn Boonsboro, the boutique hotel that Nora Roberts renovated in her home town. Fifteen of my Washington Romance Writer friends filled the Inn for an informal writers weekend. More on that experience in my Thursday Blog.
One of the things we did was to watch the movie Die Hard and discuss its “Seven Anchor Scenes,” Lani Diane Rich’s concept about plotting. The seven anchor scenes are those where a turning point occur and the main character makes a decision that furthers his story arc.
I don’t know about seven anchor scenes, but it was fun to discuss the movie as we were watching it. Lots of fun.
While watching the Academy Awards it occurred to me that what movies and books have in common is that, in order for us to like them, they must have interesting characters undergoing some sort of transformation. When we use movie plot structure to help us plot our books (as we were when we watched Die Hard), we should also look to movies to see how they build characters we care about.
Take Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy….I think why we all love his Mr. Darcy was revealed in his face. Jane Austen didn’t write from the male point of view, so in the book, we only know Darcy from his descriptions and his dialogue. Firth gave us so much more in his interpretation of the character.
And in The King’s Speech, he “showed” us King George VI’s emotional and physical struggle in such a realistic way that we fell in love with the character. But it was because he performed the role so realistically, and that is another lesson for us writers. The emotions and behaviors of our characters have to ring true every time or readers will not be interested in them.
So…Did you see the Academy Awards? Any awards that surprised or disappointed you? If you write, do you look to movies to learn about plotting and character? If you are a reader, do you sometimes “see” books as if they were movies?
Come to Diane’s Blog on Thursday to see more about my weekend at Inn Boonsboro!